Post 16 Business Studies

GCE Professional Business Services - Why Study the Subject

 

The Professional Business Services specification is designed to encourage students to:

 

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for professional business services, including developing an interest in further study and careers in the subject;

  • Develop and draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding of different aspects of the subject;

  • Develop competence and confidence in a number of skills, including communication, numeracy, problem solving and decision making;

  • Appreciate the needs of business professionals operating in the Northern Ireland marketplace and beyond; and

  • Progress to relevant higher education programmes as appropriate.

Assessment Structure

Year 13 Unit 1 | Introduction to Professional Services - Exam   - 30% of AS, 12% of A level 40%)

Year 13 Unit 2 | Human Resource Services - Internal assessment - 40% of AS, 16% of A level

Year 13 Unit 3 | Financial Decision Making - Exam - 30% of AS, 12% of A level

Year 14 Unit 1 | Technology in Business – Exam - 18% of the A Level qualification

Year 14 Unit 2 | Leadership and Management – Exam -  18% of the A Level qualification

Year 14 Unit 3 | Project Management Skills and Processes - Internally assessed -  24% of the A level qualification

Year 13 - Topics Studied

AS 1 Introduction to Professional Services – Exam

 

This unit introduces students to the environment that professional business services firms operate in. It establishes the nature of the service they provide for clients.

Students also investigate the consultancy process professional business services firms use. They explore the range of techniques they adopt to inform and formulate the advice they provide to their clients. They also explore the broader context of the professional services market to enhance their understanding.

External written examination.

AS 2 Human Resource Services - Case Study

 

In this unit, students focus on the services provided by professional business services firms to support human resources in a client business. Students explore the need for effective human resources management in a business. They also investigate how professional business services firms can advise clients on improvements to their human resources processes in:

  • Organisational structure and culture;

  • Recruitment;

  • Learning and development;

  • Employee well-being;

  • Employee motivation; and

  • Managing conflict.

AS 3 Financial Decision Making – Exam

 

This unit focuses on the services provided by professional business services firms to support financial decision making within a client business. Students explore the sources of finance available to a business and key areas of good financial management, including budgeting and cash flow. Students also analyse and interpret final accounts using ratio analysis and use investment appraisal methods to consider how professional business services firms can advise clients on financial decision making.

Year 14 - Topics Studied

Unit A2 1: Technology in Business

 

In this unit, students focus on the technology services that professional business services firms provide to support business operations in a client business. Students explore the range of technology and Information Technology (IT) systems available for communications, managing people, financial management and business operations. They also examine the issues professional business services firms must consider when advising a client on business technology, including security, data storage, and social, moral and ethical issues.

Unit A2 2: Leadership and Management

 

In this unit, students examine the key concepts of leadership and management and a range of leadership styles and theories. They investigate how professional business services firms can advise client businesses to meet some of the challenges

of management, including performance management, managing teams and managing change.

Unit A2 3: Project Management Skills and Processes

 

In this unit, students explore the stages and processes involved in successful project management. They examine the components of project management methodology and apply this methodology to a specific project. To enhance teaching and learning in this unit, teachers should give students opportunities to engage with business organisations that use project management methodology.

Students produce a portfolio of evidence for a project.

Employability/job opportunities/further study

 

  • Accountancy

  • Law

  • Management

  • Human Resource

  • Marketing

  • Public Relations

  • Communication, Advertising and Marketing

  • Hospitality Management

  • Teaching

  • Advertising

  • Property Investment and Development

  • Consumer Studies 

  • Leisure and Tourism

Department Staff

Mr A Twohig  (HOD)

Mrs S Barry

Miss E Hadden

Mrs F McCloy

Mr M Fitzpatrick

Post 16 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links

 

The Department has continued to foster its association with local and regional businesses, these include:

  • Danske Bank - Risk Management

  • Flowlens - CRM (Customer Relationship Management). 

  • Liberty IT - Human Resource Management

  • Year 14 Fundraising Project in association with Buttercrane Shopping Centre for PIPS Care and Support, The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and Zambian Street Children.

Cambridge Technical in Business - Why Study the Subject

 

  • Cambridge Technical is a Level 3 qualification allowing students to progress to university and enter a range of occupational areas.  The subjects are chosen by students who:

  • Have an interest in and enthusiasm for the study of business and business related jobs

  • Develop and draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding of different aspects of the subject;

  • Develop competence and confidence in a number of skills, including communication, numeracy, problem solving and decision making;

Assessment Structure

Year 13 | 3 Modules – Internally Assessed

Year 14 2 Modules - Internally Assessed

Year 13 - Topics Studied

Unit 1 The Business Environment

 

This unit will help the learner to have an understanding of the range of different businesses that can exist in an economy. Students will discover the different purposes that such organisations can have and the different forms of ownership that can exist. They will also be able to appreciate the role of the different stakeholders involved in such businesses.

 

Students will have an understanding of the different ways in which businesses are organised to achieve their purposes and they will also be able to appreciate that businesses can have a variety of different aims. This unit will also help the student to have an understanding of the way in which the wider environment can impact on businesses in terms of both the economic environment and the political, legal and social framework in which businesses operate.

There are clear links between this unit and many of the other units.

Unit 2 Business Resources

 

The unit looks at how a range of resources including human, physical, technological and financial resources are used and managed within business.

This unit will help the students to have an understanding of how human resources are managed and of the employability and personal skills required of personnel in an organisation. Students will gain an understanding of the purpose of managing resources effectively, not only in relation to human resources but also in terms of physical and technological resources.

 

Students will also gain an understanding of how an organisation can gain access to sources of finance, both internally and externally and be able to interpret financial statements. The company that students focus on for this unit is Deli Lites. We have been very fortunate to have one of the owners, Siobhan Reel, visit and be interviewed by the students to help them to apply their coursework.

Unit 3 – Business Accounting

 

Accounting records are frequently used in business decision making; understanding their purpose and uses is a useful skill in business management. This unit will enable students to identify the need for accounting and be able to create and use some of the most common financial accounts and their related documents. Students will also be able to review business performance through the use of simple ratio analysis.

Year 14 - Topics Studied

Unit 4 Human Resource Management in Business

People are often described as the most valuable resource of any organisation and all resources, especially the most valuable, need to be managed in order to obtain the greatest value from them. This unit provides an overview of some of the key areas that fall within the remit of the human resources function.

By the end of this unit students will gain an understanding of the factors that are taken into account by organisations when planning their human resource management. They will also learn how organisations gain employee motivation and employee commitment. Finally, students will know about how employee performance is measured and managed as well as the benefits of doing so. This knowledge will help students to understand the working environment and the nature of Human Resource Management when they are seeking or engaged in employment.

We focus on a local company, First Derivatives, who come and speak to the students about the day to day roles and responsibilities of HRM.

Unit 5 Recruitment and Selection in Business

 

This unit is about how an organisation recruits and selects staff. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the process that a business has to go through when recruiting staff. Learners will prepare documents necessary to help select the right person for the job and plan to take part in a selection interview. They will have a broad understanding of the legislation surrounding recruitment and selection and be able to explain how these laws affect a business.

As part of this, students will consider the role of the Human Resource department. This will help them understand the vital role that the HR department plays in helping an organisation achieve its business objectives and will help them in the future when attending a job interview or participating in a selection panel.

The student will recognise the difficulty that staff within a Human Resource department experience as they prepare documents in readiness for advertising a job and then assess applicants against the set criteria. The student will identify how legislation impacts on recruitment and selection which means for example, that they will know what can/cannot be put in job adverts and what employees can/cannot ask potential employees during a job interview. Finally, the student will be required to take part in a selection interview as an interviewer; this will allow them to develop techniques and skills which they can use in the future when attending job interviews as an interviewee.

Unit 3 – Business Accounting

 

Accounting records are frequently used in business decision making; understanding their purpose and uses is a useful skill in business management. This unit will enable students to identify the need for accounting and be able to create and use some of the most common financial accounts and their related documents. Students will also be able to review business performance through the use of simple ratio analysis.

Employability/job opportunities/further study

 

  • Accountancy

  • Law

  • Management

  • Human Resource

  • Marketing

  • Public Relations

  • Communication, Advertising and Marketing

  • Hospitality Management

  • Teaching

  • Advertising

  • Property Investment and Development

  • Consumer Studies

  • Leisure and Tourism

Post 16 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links

 

Business Talks:

  • First Derivatives - Human Resource Management

  • Deli Lites- Business Resources

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